From the Vault: Tree of Life

29 Mar

Tree of Life

Tree of Life (2011)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn

Directed by: Terrence Malick

There have been very few movies in my life that I could not finish. The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick now has found a place on that list. From the outset it had the classic Malick style with beautiful visuals but the storyline never came together. After almost an hour I had no attachment to any of the characters nor any idea what the story really was. This is a film that critics say has moved them to tears and has won incredibly prestigious awards yet I couldn’t have felt any more different. Even Sean Penn, one of the stars of the film, said that the film could have used a more direct plot and still delivered an equally emotional message. Unfortunately, I will never know the message behind this film. If you wish to watch this film, be my guest, I would love to hear your review, but I am not a fan.

From the Vault: Ernest and Celestine

17 Mar

Ernest and Celestine

Ernest and Celestine (2012)

Starring: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally

Directed by: Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner

About 2 years ago I saw the preview for Ernest and Celestine. I do not know what it was about the preview. It could have been the music, or the art style or maybe something else entirely but, when the preview ended I knew I had to see this movie. However, I never found a theater near me showing the movie. And, like so many other lesser known films, this one passed me by. As soon as I could, I put it on my Netflix queue, and many months(years) later it showed up. Despite more than 24 months going by between preview and viewing, I loved this movie. The plot is so simple but, in these times of social tension, leave it to a children’s movie to cut to the core of the issue in a way that policy makers seem to struggle with. Surrounding this incredible story is phenomenal voice acting , an incredibly unique art style and a fantastic soundtrack. As a children’s movie, I rank this as one of the best. On its surface Ernest and Celestine may seem like a simple movie, but the message behind this child’s plot is so much more. Who knew they could pack so much into 80 minutes? Peter Jackson should take notes. I highly recommend this movie. Kid, teenager, adult, everyone will find something to love.

 

9/10

Music Monday: Shut Up and Dance – WALK THE MOON

16 Mar

I was recently shown this song by my mother. This is definitely not the first place I go for new music. However, she got this one right. Shut Up and Dance is a catchy, upbeat, song that I do not mind having stuck in my head. Anyone looking for a pick me up should give this song a listen. Hope you enjoy.

Music Monday: Get Ready For It – Take That

9 Mar

Last week I saw Kingsman: The Secret Service, and it was fantastic. During the credits they played this song, Get Ready For It by Take That. It was the perfect song for the end of the film. I definitely recommend the movie, but if you only have a few minutes then this song is a good place to start. Hope you guys like it.

Kingsman: The Secret Service Review

27 Feb

Kingsman

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

Starring: Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Samuel L. Jackson, Taron Egerton

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

 

Kingsman is the kind of movie that I love. This movie knows what it is and what it is trying to achieve, and it does so perfectly. I have not seen a good comedy-action movie in a long time. The last movie that did action and humor as well was probably Rush Hour. The plot is supposed to mimic classic James Bonds movies where a megalomaniac tries to destroy the world and it is up to our single hero to stop him. Kingsman is basically a more action oriented Austin Powers however, to put the movies on the same playing field does not do Kingsman justice. The acting is spot on with Firth and Jackson doing incredible jobs and newbie Egerton also carrying his weight. The special effects are exactly what one would expect from an action film but instead of relying on slow-motion, Kingsman utilizes, what I would call, fast-motion. It was really unique and, I thought, a welcome change from the usual effects choices. Additionally, the soundtrack was really good. From start to finish this movie was highly enjoyable. I recommend this movie. Considering the other films that are out right now, this is hands down the best choice.

 

8/10

Trailer Thursday: Unfinished Business

26 Feb

Unfinished Business

Release date: March 6, 2015

Vince Vaughn is back with director Ken Scott (the two worked together in Delivery Man) in, what appears to be, another run of the mill comedy. It also adds the more veteran Tom Wilkinson and the more junior Dave Franco to round out the cast. This movie does not look like it is going to do anything ground breaking. If I had to guess, Vaughn is going to utilize his fast talk, reference laden humor and pair it with Franco’s lovable boyishness and Wilkinson will provide a  stark contrast to the two, being the most senior actor. I don’t want this to sound like the movie won’t be good. I am sure it will have its humorous parts. I just would not expect anything groundbreaking.

Music Monday: Glory feat. Common – John Legend

23 Feb

Fresh off its victory at the Oscars, I thought I would share Glory, from Selma. I am really enjoying this song. John Legend kills it on piano and Common is one of the best wordsmiths out there, and this song fits perfectly with his style. The use of a choir adds to the soulful feel of the song. I never saw Selma but, if the movie is as good as the song I will definitely give it a watch.

 

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